Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 02, 2013 10:19 ET

Experimental Lakes Area to Remain Open

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 2, 2013) -


The Government of Canada, the Ontario government and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). This Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates the three parties' commitment to ensure a smooth transition of the ELA to a new operator.

This agreement will allow the research facility to remain open while a long-term agreement is finalized.

The Experimental Lakes Area is a one-of-a-kind, freshwater research region. The research conducted by scientists from right here in Ontario, Canada and internationally, informs pollution reduction strategies, our understanding of climate change and how we can protect the lakes and rivers in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.


"The Government of Canada has upheld its commitment to ensuring that a new operator is well-positioned to take over the Experimental Lakes Area, and we will continue to follow through on this commitment. I would like to highlight the collaboration of all parties involved in this file and in particular, thank my colleagues Greg Rickford and Joyce Bateman for their active and constructive role."

- Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

"This agreement is the result of a constructive discussion between all three parties and it will ensure that the ELA remains open while a long-term agreement is put in place. Ontario has stepped-up to provide the financial support necessary to help IISD keep this world class facility operational and producing ground-breaking research on important global issues such as acid rain and climate change."

- David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources

"We are pleased to have reached an interim agreement that ensures the important scientific research at the Experimental Lakes Area will continue to inform Canada and the world and will continue to provide valuable scientific knowledge critical to manage freshwater resources in a sustainable way."

- Scott Vaughan, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development


  • Ontario is committed to providing up to $2 million per year to the Experimental Lakes Area for the length of the agreement.
  • The transitional arrangement between the three parties means that fish and water monitoring of the lakes will continue to the end of the 2013 field season. It also means that operational and scientific knowledge will be effectively passed on to the IISD.
  • The Experimental Lakes Area is a unique area of 58 small, freshwater lakes and drainages in northwestern Ontario.
  • ELA has operated for more than 40 years and provided ground-breaking research on the effects of pollutants such as acid rain and phosphates.


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Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Media Relations

    Ministry of Natural Resources:
    Andrew Donnachie
    Minister's Office

    Media Desk
    Communications Services Branch

    International Institute for Sustainable Development
    Nona Pelletier
    IISD Manager
    Public Affairs